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Full text of "A history of Persia"

252                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                CHAP.
to repair and traffique within his dominions, for to bring in
our commodities, and to carry away theirs, to the honour of,
both princes, the mutual commoditie of both realmes, and
wealth of the subjects, with other words here omitted."
Unfortunately the inevitable question of religion was
brought up, and Jenkinson, confessing that he was a
Christian, was told "Oh thou vnbeleeuer, we haue no
neede to haue friendship with the vnbeleeuers, and so
willed mee to depart. I being glad thereof did reuerence
and went my way, being accompanied with many of his
gentlemen and others, and after mee followed a man with
a Basanet of sand, sifting all the way that I had gone
within the said pallace, euen from the sayd Sophies sight
vnto the court gate." It would have gone hard with
the Englishman—for the Shah would probably have sent
his head as a gift to the Sultan—if Abdulla Khan had
not saved his life by writing cc that it should not stand
with his majestie's honour to doe me any harme or
displeasure, but rather to give mee good entertainment
. . . and that if hee vsed me euill, there would few
strangers resort into his countrey." Tahmasp was ulti-
mately persuaded by the arguments of Abdulla Khan,
and Jenkinson returned to Shirwan, where he was treated
with extreme kindness. Good fortune attended this great
pioneer throughout, and he reached Moscow in safety with
all his goods, including raw silk and dye-stuffs for the
Muscovy Company, and silk brocades and precious stones
for the Tsar.
The trade thus opened seemed at one time likely to
be successful; but the anarchy into which Persia fell and
the losses through storms and pirates on the Caspian Sea
convinced the English Company, after the sixth voyage,
that the risks were too great. Consequently in A.D. 1581
the attempt was abandoned. But the failure of the
enterprise was not inglorious. It trained the Englishmen
who took part in it to the hardihood and valour charac-
teristic of "the spacious times of great Elizabeth," and
it enlarged the outlook of the English nation. This is
seen from the following lines in Marlowe's Tamburlaine,
which evidently allude to Jenkinson's exploit: